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  • K. Bennett - Nice upgrade to older model, and a nice little camera overallThis is our 4th Panasonic Micro 4/3 camera. It replaces my wife's original G1, and in this review I'll compare it to my GF1 and GH2 bodies.

    The Panasonic G5 is the latest model in the G-series Micro 4/3 cameras. Panasonic also makes the GF, GX, and GH series of Micro 4/3 cameras, all with slightly different feature sets. The G-series is the original, and comes with a built-in electronic eye-level viewfinder and a beautiful articulating LCD display.

    The G1 and GF1 were released several years ago and completely redefined the compact camera as a usable tool for quality image making. The GH1 followed and added amazing video quality. Several generations later we've arrived at the G5, but now there are many more manufacturers and models out there, so why upgrade from an older model, and why choose this one?

    1. Image quality. The G5 is significantly improved over the G1 and GF1. Its 16 megapixel sensor makes excellent images up to ISO 3200, which is 3 stops better than the original model. (Note that I am shooting raw files and processing them appropriately in Lightroom 4.3. I neither know nor care anything about in-camera JPEG quality.) As we tend to shoot indoor candid photography under very low light, high ISO quality is important to us, and the G5 delivers that. The G5 is certainly the equal to if not slightly better than the GH2 under similar conditions. Even photos shot at ISO 6400 are usable and print well up to 11x14 inches. Other cameras with similar image quality are significantly more expensive at this time.

    2. Design and user interface. The handgrip and the terrific EVF make this a comfortable camera to hold and shoot. The G5 has a toggle switch for the power-zoom lenses set just behind the shutter, and that switch may be used to change exposure compensation or manual exposure settings (if you're not using a power zoom lens.) Used with the thumb wheel, the photographer now has a two-dial system for manual or auto exposure shooting. Keeping the camera in Aperture Priority mode most of the time, the Aperture is set with the thumb wheel, and the exposure compensation is easily and quickly dialed in with the toggle.

    3. Ability to customize. The extensive and fairly easy to use menu system allows the photographer to customize many areas of the camera. For example, if, like me, you're used to Thumb Button Focus on larger Canon and Nikon cameras, that's easy to enable on the G5 -- just turn Shutter AF to Off, and AF/AE Lock Hold to Off, and the AF thumb button now functions to engage autofocus completely separate from the shutter button, which now just fires the shutter. This is not possible on the G1 or GF1.

    There are some losses from the G1 and the GH2 in external manual controls. The G5 doesn't have an external dial for focus modes (AFS, AFC, M) or drive modes (single, continuous, bracket, self timer) -- these are done by pressing one of the 4-way controller buttons and choosing from a menu. That is a little fussier, but these are not things that I do often enough to matter.

    One major reason to choose Micro 4/3 over another system is the wide choice in lenses from Panasonic, Olympus, and now Sigma and others. Some competing mirrorless systems have great zoom lenses, and some have excellent primes, but as far as I can tell, none have the selection of both that is available in M4/3. From the trio of excellent Panasonic fixed-aperture zooms (7-14, 12-35, and 35-100) to the amazing Olympus 75/1.8 and the Panny/Leica 25/1.4, there is a set of lenses for everyone. So now that I've mentioned that, I'll recommend adding some lenses to this kit. The 14-42 lens that comes with it is perfectly fine, but the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 or the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 will take this camera to a whole new level of performance for a reasonable price.

    Now I think I'll order another one as a second body to go with my GH2, and retire the GF1 completely.
  • Alex - A great choiceI got this a month ago, right after it came out. Previously I used a Viewsonic g-tab. This is a much more capable tablet.

    * Long battery life
    * Easy update to ICS
    * 32 GB is more than enough room
    * It has the graphical capability of an Xbox 360... which is pretty awesome in a portable device
    * It's great for email, web browsing (chrome!), google+, games (plants vs. zombies, fruit ninja, spirit, fieldrunners, etc.) and ebooks (kindle app).
    * I also bought a "rooCASE Multi-Angle Leather Folio Case Cover for Asus Eee Pad Transformer" and "amCase Premium Screen Protector Film" which are great for protecting it while keeping it usable.

    * It doesn't have a retina display. The tablets with that will come out around June-ish. (I can't knock ASUS for this. I didn't want to wait 6 months more!)
    * The keyboard docks seem like they're in REALLY low supply (Whaddya want, it's a new product)
    * It doesn't do 3G. (See earlier comment about not being willing to wait 6 months for that version to come out.)
    * you can't plug in the USB cable just anywhere to charge it. It needs a high power USB adapter. I bought a spare EEE charger to use while on travel.
  • R. Caso "BobKat" - Peace of Mind on the Web!I've been using Norton products exclusively for almost 10 years on multiple PC's. Using Norton assures my internet security
    to the point where I have never experienced a problem. Norton clearly recognizes any security issues and handles them efficiently and completely. Most of the time the user may not even notice what Norton has done except for a small pop up on the lower right corner of your monitor. If you should encounter any problems their tech service will be glad to assist.
  • S. J. Laframboise - They've done it again... and w/o RogerI'm not a Roger hater at all... and if you're reading this, you're probably a new fan interested in who these guys are...

    honestly, they are as close to sonic perfection (for me at least and the 100,000's other who are devout listeners)...

    this album is yet another extension that shows their depth and ability to say something eternal in lyric and music...

    get into pink floyd, you'll thank yourself in 40 years...